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Mr. Wonderful: A 90th birthday tribute to Sammy Davis Jr.

Frank Sinatra‘s 100th birthday is December 12 but you probably didn’t know that his fellow Rat Pack cool cat Sammy Davis Jr. was also born on the second week of December, 90 years ago today in Harlem.     Davis was born on December 8, 1925, at Harlem Hospital on Lenox Avenue and 135th Street and […]

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Pop Culture

Monkey business: This video encapsulates everything you need to know about our new podcast

Make The Connection was a show hosted by Gene Rayburn (later of Match Game fame) that was broadcast on NBC in 1955 and filmed from the RCA Building at Rockefeller Center. Please note all the classic hallmarks of early television: The blatant sponsorships, the chaos of live broadcasting, the celebrity panel, the live audience, a […]

Julian Fellowes ‘Gilded Age’, New York’s ‘Downton Abbey’: Some suggestions and a few pipe dreams

It’s a different world: Illustrating the difficulty of a New York TV show set in the 1880s, above is a picture of the corner of Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. The Reservoir is off to the left, where the New York Public Library is today. More on this photo here. Ever since the announcement that […]

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Pop Culture

Election Night, live on TV! New York City newsrooms, 1952

Above: The CBS news broadcast was sponsored by Philco, an early radio and television manufacturer. In the photos of the ABC newsroom below, you’ll notice they are also sponsored by a television manufacturer, Admiral. The candidates are now at our mercy. Election Day comes in two phases. The first is in the hands of the […]

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When New York hosted the Oscars

NOTE: In honor of this weekend’s Academy Awards, I’m expanding this article originally posted last year with some revisions and newer information. Despite the Academy Awards being a celebration of all things Hollywood, New York has actually hosted the Oscar ceremony on more than one occasion. Or rather, they co-hosted the event — from 1953 to 1957 […]

Once an Underdog, always an underdog

This year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will feature balloon representations of Mr. Potato Head, Kermit, Ronald McDonald, Scooby Doo, Flying Ace Snoopy, Shrek and Hello Kitty. And if you see a balloon that looks like Dolly Parton, don’t flinch — that’s actually Dolly Parton. What will not be flying by is Underdog. Ask any person […]